Vancouver Island SUP Adventures

Sweet surfing off Tonfino (Vancouver Island, BC)

Sweet surfing off Tofino (Vancouver Island, BC)

If you have ever hopped off the ferry to Victoria, Nanaimo or any of the other stops along the coast of Vancouver Island you had to be craving some paddle time on the water.  Back in 2008, we did a “first crossing” in Clayquot Sound where local First Nation and kayak tour groups cheered and waved and asked a boatload of questions (What is that called? for the most part, then “Where can I get a board?”)

Awesome paddle in Clayquot Sound )beware of tides and currents!)

Awesome paddle in Clayquot Sound (beware of tides and currents!)

I recently spotted a picture posted on Facebook of a beautiful scenic river, partially frozen, with a long, glassy wake through crusted ice made by a guy on a standup paddleboard.  As luck would have it, I was able to connect with Paul Kendrick who created the scene via a great photo. The intrepid paddler cutting through the icy river was Paul’s friend, Darcy. If you are compelled to bundle up and paddle in winter, be safe and stay warm.

Winter SUP - paddle with a buddy and wear proper clothing (then take in the awesomeness!)

Winter SUP – paddle with a buddy and wear proper clothing (then take in the awesomeness!)

If you are intrigued by the idea of 12 lakes connected by easy portages, be sure to read this article as Paul describes his favorite rivers and lakes from the SUP Perspective.

Paul is relatively new to the sport, he bought his first stand-up-paddleboard in July 2012. A fan of both awesome adventure scenery and good exercise, it didn’t take Paul long to master the art of “boardpacking.”

What’s boardpacking? It’s a term I coined to explain how wonderful “backpacking via SUP” can be.

The area of Vancouver Island where SUP explorer Paul Kendrick adventures with his standup paddleboard and camera.

The area of Vancouver Island where SUP explorer Paul Kendrick adventures with his standup paddleboard and camera.

Paul has likely done quite a number of first crossings, as there are so few  up in his area exploring on paddleboards, Paul has a blog that’s informative and a very good read.

According to Pau, “I started this blog as a means of sharing and invitation for those who may be interested.We are so lucky to live in this very special part of the world, so let’s get out there!”

After touring the log, I am hankering to toss a few boards on the roof of the truck and head on up to Vancouver Island. Who else has some BC adventures to share?

Pristine launch spot from Paul's Paddling blog

Pristine launch spot from Paul’s Paddling blog

Winter SUP Training

January warm in my Sweet Waterwear paddling top and compression pants

January warm in my Sweet Waterwear paddling top and compression pants

Just took a virtual tour drooling over the Naish line of Glide raceboards (have you ever seen that GX? Yeah!)and Mana line of SUP surfboards.  It seems like forever until we head to Maui for some surf and downwind fun at the Olukai Ho’olaulea.  In reality, it’s just about 100 days.  With so much snow and ice on our local paddling locations, we are waiting until late May to get our Naish boards. Meanwhile we prep and dream. I did have the pleasure of going a few miles in the Deschutes River on a recent 50 degree afternoon. It was the first time I’d paddled since our fun in Maui in early December. Other locals, like Randall Barna paddle regularly – every freezing month of the year. naish randall winter

I was paddling on my Amundson 11’3″ all round fun board.  Everyone knows that I have had endless hours of flatwater and surf fun with that board.  Heading up river on a calm day I was surprised to notice – my Amundson just didn’t have that “glide!” In Maui we had been blessed with a few glassy days with small surf so the actual glide of the Naish 14′ Glide was obvious. A set of 6-8 strokes on one side generated some serious acceleration with minimal effort.  It reminded me of some technique suggestions from KIALOA paddles’ Dave Chun.

When asked about paddling technique, Dave Chun says, “Listen to the board, Don’t worry about what you look like. Listen to the water coming off of it. Feel what makes it go fast and smooth.” I was doping that observation during my January paddle and realized how much the design of a board impacts the glide, the sound and the result of a series of paddle strokes.  Even though I love the sound of the chop-chop-chop as the bow skims across the ripples in river current and breeze bumps, having aboard that slices right through all that with more of a “swish” is simply faster! So glad we’ve got a 14′ Naish Glide reserved for the Ho’olaule’a.

We don't have the beach (and I certainly don't have the body) but we can train and prep with guidance from Suzie Cooney, CPT

We don’t have the beach (and I certainly don’t have the body) but we can train and prep with guidance from Suzie Cooney, CPT

While a great board is key to having a great experience during SUP events, the bottom line is getting ourselves ready to be strong, safe and prepared for the physical and mental challenges. To that end we have been poring over Suzie Cooney’s SuzieTrainsMaui website for ideas and training tips. Luckily she has SKYPE sessions available for some true custom training opportunity. I know we will be filming some sessions with the GoPro to get solid feedback that we need.

Since Karen Wrenn experiences much similar winter weather we looked for some training tips that power her fitness and competitive success.  This is from Karen’s blog with a link to Stand Up Paddle Annapolis’ blog

“I do a lot of cross training in the gym in the Winter. Circuit training is great because you can get your heart rate going, build muscle and muscle endurance. I will first do something that elevates my heart rate followed by a couple exercises that include strength and balance. For example, I might do 20 double jumps (or you could do 100-150 single jumps) with a jump rope and then move right into 20 kettle ball swings (from a squat position swinging the kettle ball to shoulder height coming to a standing position) and repeat. Then I would move into a plank position with elbows on a ball and roll the ball forward and back for 20 reps. I would do this circuit 3 times and then move on to another circuit.

Another idea of a circuit is to do 15 split jumps on each leg ( and then 20 tri-cep dips then 20 reverse crunches ( and repeat this circuit another two times.

Basically, come up with some circuits of three exercises. Have the first exercise of the series be something that will elevate your heart rate ( jump rope, running stairs, sprints on a rowing machine) add a strength exercise (kettle bells, push ups, tricep dips, pull ups, etc…) then add in a core exercise ( reverse crunch, plank, medicine ball sit up and throws). After you finish one circuit of three then move on to another.

I run a lot during the Winter. Running is a great way to keep up your cardio endurance and a great thing to do if you only have 45 minutes to spare. If you are not a runner… biking and swimming are great options too.”

From Naish Stand Up Paddle's Facebook page

From Naish Stand Up Paddle’s Facebook page

Excuses for not getting ready? NONE! Have fun, just be sure to be safe and paddle with a buddy when the water and weather is cold.

GoPro – Short and Long of It

If you’re like me you get periodic updates from GoPro accompanied by the coolest and most inspiring GoPro projects by pros and amateurs alike. ( A crazy sample )

Once you purchase your GoPro you may be a bit like the techno-newbies we are and simply scratch your head when it comes to editing.  For sure, editing can make your GoPro footage even better. The process of learning the editing software you choose can be frustrating (if you let it ) or really fun when you play with the process.

The footage taken for these samples was gathered before we really started to be skilled at taking our shots off the GoPro and using the CineForm app (free). For great tips to make your SUP movie easier to build, see “What’s in a Name?”

The Short: For this sample we used the trailer templates available in iMovie. Super fun. Simply by using those templates and seeking the right clips to drag into the storyboard we got plenty of ideas about how and what to film on the next outing. Here is 47 seconds of fun – Big fun on little waves in West Maui.

The Long: For this sample we used Windows Movie Maker and played around with adding some music to the footage. It was fun to use the CLIP and TRIM tools to place the music we wanted at the spot it seemed to make most sense. It is eye-opening how many skills are developed in messing around with a project. It unlocks awareness of what and how to film, what still shots to collect and how a day of fun and morph into a short story – seriously, 3 minutes is usually quite enough. This one is a cool mix of sun-sup-surf and ski on Mt Bachelor, Oregon.


HERO3: Silver Edition »
GoPro Chest Mount »
Curved + Flat Adhesive Mount »
Surfboard Mount
Anti-Fog Inserts »

Art and a SUPer SUP-er

Alex Sumibcay - the artist and entrepreneurial force behind SUPMauiHawaii

Alex Sumibcay – the artist and entrepreneurial force behind SUPMauiHawaii

Being on vacation in West Maui is about all one could ask for, especially as gray winter was hitting our home town of Bend with wind and wet snow.  We were fortunate to have traded our timeshare for a spot at the Marriott Maui resort. As we drove up to much fancier digs than we needed, we were greeted by bell and valet staff both courteous and enthusiastic. Holy cow! We’re used to taking care of our own car and gear – especially the cool Naish 14′ Glides we had on the foam roof rack of our rental car.  Would we fit in here and where would we put our boards?

We later learned that the friendly guy who cheerfully helped us get the raceboards onto solid racks inside a well protected surf storage room was Alex Sumibcay. Over the week we were in Maui we had our Naish raceboards and the Mana 9’5″ SUP surfboards in and out of the storage room numerous times per day. Over time we had great conversations with Alex in between his valet runs parking cars and helping guests. By mid-week we discovered that Alex had an artistic and entrepreneurial side to him.  On Thursday we were greeted with a bag of some of the coolest “SUP Maui” branded stickers, hats and shirts. Stylish t-shirts and tanks in both men and women’s styles made our wardrobe for the rest of our trip (when we weren’t wearing awesome garb from Naish). Seriously, we felt a small part of the local culture.

I love this trucker SUP Maui hat!

I love this trucker SUP Maui hat!

Great looking shirt - Ed at Kapalua

Great looking shirt – Ed at Kapalua

Alex personifies the best aspects of SUP surfing and the sport we all love. We were riding some waist high fun waves at Laniupoko on West Maui along with a few other locals. I inadvertently took a wave about the same time as a young 30-something guy with exquisite tattoos and definite surfing skills.  I cringed when I saw what I had done and promptly wiped out.  Paddling back out I came alongside him and apologized profusely. I was so surprised when he simply grinned and said, “Hey. there are plenty of waves for everyone.”

I recounted this story to Alex, who obviously was mentoring  his friend’s SUP surfing. Alex laughed and explained, “I love to teach my friends who used to prone surf how great standup surfing is. But, when I teach them the skills I also teach them to be gracious and share aloha on the waves.” Alex was a treasure to spend time with.

By the end of the week we had a full inventory of hats, T’s, tanks and stickers. You will definitely want to get some when you are in Maui. They can be found at Hawaiian Island Surf and Sports. if you can’t get to Maui you can order from Alex. He can customize his trademarked logo for any location. I am looking forward to SUPBend gear and garb.

A great hat design by Alex

A great hat design by Alex 

Olukai Ho’olaule’a “Save the Date”

Save the date!

Save the date!

It’s finally about 100 days until the Olukai Ho’olaule’a. That gives anyone willing to put in time and some thought to training for a fun, safe and exhilarating down wind ride time to get prepared.

What’s the Olukai Ho’olaule’a? Here’s a wonderful overview, simply click.

It seems like such a long time ago when we stood nervously behind the Pai’a Youth Center waiting to do the short “fun run” to the festivities at Kanaha Beach Park in May 2012. Our butterflies were no match for the awesome warm-up and stretch provided by Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui. She inspires us – even as she returns the favor.

We had no idea how hooked on down wind runs – and the amazing energy and culture surrounding the Olukai Ho’olaul’ea – and how it would impact our entire year. Read about our journey, and then share your story with us.

Now we hope you are jazzed and ready to register. If you read this Elder SUP blog and plan to be on the beach at Maliko on May 11, please let us know. There is power and energy in numbers. We can get together and do a group shot of “show us your Olukais!”

Right now it is not so easy to train in Central Oregon!

Right now it is not so easy to train in Central Oregon!

Talking Story – Maui

This will be broadcast live on January 13 from

This will be broadcast live on January 13 from

We have written a number of articles based on “story,” – yours, mine and the collective “ours.”  Humans love a great story and we all can recall a time when we were enlightened or entertained by an excellent story-teller.  If any of you have heard of TEDx or follow the amazing short videos available online, you know the vast depth of topic and talent participating. One of my personal goals is to attend a TEDX in person. Fortunately, there are many opportunities for people in cities around the world to host their own, local version of the TEDx experience. We enjoyed TEDx Bend (Oregon) last year for the first time – and it was an exhilarating, sold-out event.

On January 13, we all have an opportunity to experience TEDX Maui, sponsored by Olukai. We’ve walked a lot of miles in our comfortable, top-notch Olukai sandals and shoes, and we’ve written numerous times about their “give back to community” company culture. It’s doubly fun to invite you all to join us in watching TEDx Maui online. Message us on Facebook if you plan to view and/or Tweet during the event. We’ll link to you.

From the Olukai website, “A live broadcast of the TEDxMaui event will be accessible through with opening ceremonies beginning at 9:00 a.m. Hawaiian Standard Time / 11:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. People across the country and beyond can also follow TEDxMaui live on Twitter at @tedxmaui and participate in live conversation by using the #TEDxMaui2013 hashtag. (If you are on Twitter, using the hashtag and following live discussion is great fun.)

Similar to the mission of OluKai’s Talk Story series (an original collection of short videos and photography curated to inspire and connect people across cultures), the day-long conference will encourage global thinking and positive action with luminary speakers such as Archie Kalepa, mentor to OluKai, big-wave surfer and innovative waterman recently inducted to the Hawaii Watermen’s Hall of Fame; Alex Grey, visionary medical illustrator from Harvard Medical School whose art has been featured in Time, Newsweek, on the Discovery Channel and albums of Tool, Beastie Boys and Nirvana; Quayle Hodek, renewable energy expert named one of the ‘7 Hottest CEO’s’ by and one of Red Herring’s ‘Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 35;’ Jenelle Peterson, an inspired teacher who has taught in classrooms from Compton to Maui; and Kim Rosen, MFA, author of Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words whose work has been featured in media such as O Magazine and The New Yorker.

“OluKai is the founding partner of TEDxMaui and we are honored to continue in helping create an enduring platform for inspired thinking,” said Kerry Konrady, Director of Marketing for OluKai.

It’s all great – especially planning for the upcoming Olukai Ho’olaule’a May 11-12, 2013.